Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 22:15:30 -0500
From: The Wisdom Fund <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>

AN APOLOGY TO OUR READERS: Normally, we send out less
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we believe that we should keep you better informed.

We found the following from Jude Wanniski particularly
useful, and timely. Dr. Wanniski was an associate
editor of The Wall Street Journal from 1972 to 1978,
his book, The Way The World Works , became a foundation
of the  global economic transformation launched by
the Reagan Administration. He founded Polyconomics -
http://polyconomics.com/ - in 1978.


1. Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
True or False.

False. The U.S. Armed Forces only consider a nuclear
weapon a weapon of mass destruction. Iraq has neither
nuclear weapons nor chemical or biological weapons,
although it may possess some of the ingredients that
would enable it to develop a chemical or biological

2. Saddam Hussein has had weapons of mass destruction
in the past. True or False.

False. Iraq had a program to develop a nuclear weapon
and acquired a design for one that would use
highly-enriched uranium (HEU), but was unable to
produce more than a few grams of HEU when it would take
several hundred pounds to make one nuke.

3. White House officials assert that Iraq has been
training terrorists. True or False.

False. Iraq did support a terrorist network prior to
1983, but in that year the U.S. offered to provide
support for Baghdad in its war against Iran on
condition that it withdraw support from the network.
There is no evidence it has resumed.

4. Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda's terrorist forces have
been operating inside Iraq. True or False.

True. Al Qaeda is known to have operatives inside Iraq,
but in Kurdistan, outside the reach of the Baghdad

5. In March 1988, Saddam Hussein committed genocide,
killing several thousand Iraqi Kurds at Halabja with
poison gas. True or False.

False. According to the CIA, "hundreds" of Iraqi Kurds
died at Halabja when caught between the Iraqi and
Iranian armies, both of whom used gas. The U.S.
government in 1990 concluded the Kurds who died were
victims of a cyanide-based gas, which the Iranians
possessed, but not the Iraqi army, which used mustard

6. In August 1988, Saddam Hussein committed genocide,
killing 100,000 Iraqi Kurds with machine guns, then
burying them in mass graves. True or False.

False. This is an assertion of Human Rights Watch,
which originally reported in 1988 that 100,000 Kurds
had been killed by poison gas. When U.S. intelligence
services uniformly dismissed this as a possibility and
that there was no evidence of mass graves in Kurdistan,
Human Rights Watch altered its story to say the Kurds
were put in trucks, driven south, machine gunned
outside of Kurdistan, and buried in mass graves. No
such mass graves have been found and the U.S. Army War
College says none exist, that the story was a

7. In June 1990, Saddam Hussein asked permission of the
United States to settle his border dispute with Kuwait,
with force if diplomacy failed. True or False.

True. Iraq argued that Kuwait was cheating on its OPEC
agreement to produce only a certain amount of oil per
day, and was driving down the international price of
oil. Saddam said his country would be bankrupt unless
Kuwait relented and compensated Iraq from what it had
stolen from Iraq, by overproducing and by
slant-drilling into the Iraqi oilfields on the other
side of the Kuwait border.

8. In 1990, the United States advised Saddam Hussein
that his issues with Kuwait were a local matter, and
that the U.S. had no diplomatic obligation to defend
Kuwait if attacked by Iraq. True or False.

True. The U.S. State Department testified before
congressional committees to that effect: at the time
Saddam Hussein was weighing his options with Kuwait.

9. Saddam Hussein personally assured the United States
Ambassador to Baghdad that he would take no military
action against Kuwait if the emir of Kuwait -- in a
meeting scheduled to take place in July 1990 -- agreed
to end its "economic warfare"" against Iraq. True or

True. The Ambassador, April Glaspie, was assured and
left on vacation. The emir of Kuwait decided not to
show up at the meeting in Baghdad, with assurances from
the Pentagon that it would defend Kuwait without an
agreement to do so. Saddam invaded.

10. After quickly occupying Kuwait, the Iraqi army
positioned itself on the border of Saudi Arabia and
threatened an invasion. True or False.

False. The U.S. government advised King Fahd that Iraq
was poised to invade Saudi Arabia. King Fahd sent
scouts to check and they could find no sign of the
Iraqi army. But when the Pentagon showed aerial
photographs of the army, King Fahd agreed to join the
coalition. Commercial aerial photographs of the region
subsequently showed no signs of any Iraqi army movement
at the border area. The details are still Pentagon

11. After Iraq's invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in August
1990, Iraq immediately offered to negotiate a
withdrawal in response to the UN demand that it do so.
True or False.


12. Before President Bush gave the go-ahead for
Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Saddam Hussein agreed
to unconditional surrender, and began moving his troops
out of Kuwait. True or False.

False. There was no "surrender," but two days before
Desert Storm, USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev informed
President Bush that Saddam had agreed to leave Kuwait
without conditions, and in fact Radio Baghdad reported
its troops would be returning. As U.S. ground troops
moved into Kuwait from Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi
Republican Guard was already moving back into Iraq.
When Colin Powell said the plan was to encircle the
Republican Guard and "kill it," he did not know the
elite troops were already gone.

13. The reason the United States and its coalition
allies only lost 143 troops in the Gulf War is that the
Iraqi army was ill-equipped, demoralized, and did not
put up a fight. True or False.

False. The Iraqi army had been ordered to withdraw and
it only provided a cover for retreat. Its conscripts
suffered heavy casualties as the coalition forces fired
upon the retreating army in what became known as "the
turkey shoot."

14. The Iraqi army committed atrocities during the
brief occupation of Kuwait, including the killings of
Kuwaiti newborn infants by taking them out of their
incubators. True or False.

False. The Kuwait government hired a NY public
relations firm to drum up support for U.S. military
action to oust Iraq. The firm came up with the atrocity
story, which was subsequently exposed when it was
revealed the source was the daughter of the Kuwait
information minister, who claimed to be in the

15. When the Gulf War ended in 1991, the United Nations
resolved that the economic embargo on Iraq would be
lifted if Iraq destroyed its chemical, biological and
nuclear weapons programs within six months. Iraq
refused to do so. True or False.

False. Iraq did not refuse to do so, but spent the next
six months destroying all the nuclear, chemical and
biological programs that it had been working on in the
1980's. When the UN inspectors arrived, they complained
that Iraq should not have destroyed the weapons, but
should have waited for the inspectors to verify their
existence and supervise their destruction. Several of
the "gaps" in the inspection process that UNMOVIC says
are still open involve this early snafu.

16. White House officials now insist U.S. policy toward
Iraq changed from disarmament to "regime change" in the
Clinton administration. True or False.

False. "Regime change" was the policy of the first Bush
administration, which never intended to lift the
sanctions on Iraq until Saddam Hussein had been
deposed. It was, though, Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright who was the first official to say publicly in
1997 that the U.S. would oppose the lifting of
sanctions as long as Saddam was in power, no matter
what the inspectors found. But President Bush had said
as much in 1991. Former President Nixon also urged his
followers to oppose lifting of the sanctions as long as
Saddam remained in power.

17. In early 1993, Saddam Hussein ordered the
assassination of former President Bush while he was
visiting Kuwait City, the assassin confessing he had
been given a bomb by the Iraqi secret service. True or

False. At the time, the CIA reported the Iraqi secret
service must have been involved, as the bomb found by
the Kuwaiti police had the wiring "signature" of the
Iraqis. In his December 5, 1993 investigative report in
The New Yorker, "A Case Not Closed," Seymour Hersh
found the wiring was of the most common sort. It was
more likely Kuwait was alarmed at the statements of the
new President, Bill Clinton, who said he was open to
negotiations with Baghdad and the lifting of the
sanctions. The "assassination" report ended all
possibility Clinton could do so, and left him with the
"regime change" policy.

18. The "No-Flight" zones in Northern and Southern Iraq
that have been enforced since 1992 by the U.S. and
British air forces were authorized by the United
Nations to protect the Iraqi Kurds in the north and the
Iraqi Shi'ites in the South. True or False.

False. There has been no UN authorization for
"No-Flight" zones, which are the creations of the U.S.
government on the rationale that they are needed to
protect the Kurds and the southern Shi'ites. The policy
was created when the U.S. encouraged the Kurds and
Shi'ites to revolt against Baghdad after the Gulf War.

19. Saddam Hussein drove all the Jews out of Iraq after
the 1967 Israeli war against Egypt. True or False.

False. It was the previous government of Abdul Karim
Kassim that encouraged the some 200,000 Jews of Iraq to
leave, given the hostile reaction to the '67 war among
Iraqi Muslims. The Ba'ath Party government that
followed did hang some Jews as Israeli spies, but there
never has been persecution of Iraqi Jews by the Ba'ath
government and there are still two functioning
synagogues in Iraq. Seven percent of the population is

20. In 1998, Saddam Hussein refused to permit the UN
inspectors to come onto presidential palace sites and
when they insisted, he kicked them out of Iraq. True or

False. The original 1991 UN resolutions that created
the first inspection regime allowed Iraq to keep the
palace grounds off limits. In 1998, though, faced with
threats of bombing by the Clinton administration, Iraq
opened all "sensitive sites" including the palaces to
UNSCOM inspectors as long as certain modalities were
followed. It was when the inspectors asked to inspect
the Ba'ath Party headquarters in Baghdad for evidence
of WMD without regard to the agreed-upon modalities
that Iraq refused entry. This led the U.S. State
Department to instruct the inspectors to leave Iraq as
the incident was deemed sufficient for the U.S. to bomb
Iraq. The fallout from the incident led the United
Nations to dissolve UNSCOM and create UNMOVIC, which
takes the inspectors out of control of the U.S. or any
other government.

21. Even if Iraq now has no nuclear weapons program, it
could start one up as soon as the UN inspectors leave
and have a nuclear weapon within six months or a year.
True or False.

False. Iraq had a clandestine nuclear program in the
1980s in violation of its agreement not seek nuclear
weapons under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It could do
so because it could import the materials needed to
build a nuke and assemble them in places unknown to the
International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA in 1998
closed this loophole, which means that all materials
that could conceivably be used to build a nuke or make
fissile material have to be cleared through a Nuclear
Suppliers Group. And even after the IAEA inspection
team completes its work under UNSC 1441, it will retain
the right to repeat inspections of Iraq under new
protocols developed by the agency to make the process

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